You know what’s strange? I find baseball a very boring sport to watch both on TV and live. But whenever one of my little brothers or cousins ever had a Little League game, I would never pass up the chance to go watch them play. The kids were always more entertaining than the pros. It was great seeing my little brothers out there on the field having fun and learning valuable lessons on teamwork without too much pressure to win (or make money). And now you can enjoy all the fun of Little League with Little League World Series Baseball 2009 on the Nintendo Wii and DS.
Little League World Series Baseball 2009 is a kid-friendly, arcade style sports baseball game. Choose from 16 US and International teams, or create your own custom players in Edit Mode. Then pit your team in a quick exhibition match or attempt to win the Little League World Series in Tournament Mode. Before stepping out on the plate, though, you can brush up on your skills and learn the controls in Training. Challenge Mode has fun baseball-themed mini-games such as Pitch Bowling, Home Run Tourney, and a field base throwing memory game, plus many more. Play in nine Little League stadiums with commentary by famous announcers Gary Thorne and Brent Musburger, which add to the authenticity of the experience. Compete with up to four other players in any of the game play modes.
While playing the various modes, you can unlock collectables like trophies, bobble heads, Little League pins, and baseball cards. But the goodies are more than just for looking at. You can take a few cards with you to the games that act like power-ups, and use them to give yourself a temporary boost in stats. Good plays fill up a talent meter, and when it’s full, you can unleash powerful batting, pitching, and fielding skills. Of course, if you want a more traditional baseball experience, you don’t have to use the power-up cards and talent meter.
The motion controls on the Wii version are great, with intuitive throwing and battling motions. By holding the remote certain ways as you swing, you can perform different pitches from change-ups to curve balls, and hit grounders and pop-fly balls with ease while batting. As far as arcade style baseball games go, I’d have to say Little League World Series Baseball 2009 is one of the best on the Wii, and is on par with other top arcade baseball games like Mario Super Sluggers and Wii Sports baseball.
The DS version is practically the same game except the motion controls are replaced with stylus and touch screen movements. There are a few different mini-games on the Challenge Mode, such as baseball themed skee-ball and pinball. Unfortunately, sluggish animations and less intuitive touch screen movements hinder the controls in the DS version. If you have to choose one game, pick the Wii one, it’s a million times better.
Young sluggers will love the cartoony graphics and intuitive, fun controls of the Wii version. Older players will appreciate the in-depth customization features and team edit modes. Heck, even adults like me who just want a fun arcade baseball experience will find something to like here. There are selectable difficulty modes for players of all ages and skills, but I did have a hard time finding where to turn on the Auto Fielding option, which lets your fielders automatically throw to the right baseman. I’m not an expert on baseball or anything, so if they flubbed some of the rules and fundamentals, I wouldn’t be able to tell. Reading skill is required for all the text in the game. Little League World Series Baseball 2009 is rated E for Everyone.